If you don’t want a classic plain ring but, for example, an alliance ring or solitaire ring, then the stone/stones themselves are a large part of the appearance of the ring. When choosing the stone, you must keep in mind it's durability. The stone should last for many years to come. In this post, I will go through some gemstones that I think are suitable to use in a ring that should be used daily.
In terms of durability, diamond is always the best choice, but often also the most expensive. When you talk about the hardness of stones, you talk about the Mohs hardness scale, this scale goes from 0 to 10 where the diamond has exactly 10. Diamonds come in many different colors (actually all!) And several different shapes (from raw to different cut). If you can afford it, I always recommend choosing a diamond for an engagement- or wedding ring. If you choose many small stones, there isn't a big difference price-wise compared to other gemstones, but when we're talking about solitaire rings with a larger diamond the prices rise significantly.
Sapphire is another good alternative and has a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. However, the 9/10 is far from as durable as the diamond and the sapphire will wear in a completely different way over the years. There is simply a background to the phrase "diamonds are forever" (although this is not entirely true either). Sapphire is very affordable and you can get a fairly large stone for a fraction of the price of a similar diamond. Sapphires come in all colors except red. If it’s red, it’s called a ruby.
Morganite, emerald, and aquamarine all belong to the mineral group beryls and mean, among other things, that they have a hardness of 8. These also work in an engagement or wedding ring, but you should be prepared that the stone will eventually wear out daily use like sapphires. These are also often very good in price if you compare them with diamonds. Emeralds, the green variety, on the other hand, can be very expensive in good quality.
Many of my clients ask for Swedish stones in their wedding and engagement rings and I wish it was a good alternative. Unfortunately, the stones that can be found of fine quality in Sweden have relatively low hardness, for example, quartz (rock crystal and amethyst) or garnet. Therefore I would not recommend these in a ring that should be used daily for the rest of your life. However they would for example fit for a cocktail ring or a necklace.
When choosing a stone, you can ask your goldsmith for different options. It's also a good idea to tell the goldsmith the approximate size and color you want for the stone. That way, your goldsmith can come up with the best option for you, according to your wishes and budget. There are so many more gemstones out there than the ones I've mentioned here.